This is How Your Leadership Is Causing Your Business To Go Bust

Executive

A chief position is the most difficult position you can do. Separated from the grassroots and frontline staff, all information is interpreted for you through your direct reports. 

Boom or bust. Chief officers are always held to account. Often fairly, sometimes unfairly, but when times get tough, the viability of your business is down to you in more ways than you think.

A chief position is the most difficult position you can do. Separated from the grassroots and frontline staff, all information is interpreted for you through your direct reports. This means it has been edited, distorted and generalised before arriving in your 'to review' list. Your ability to competently manage your business directly corresponds to what you do with the inaccuracy of what you are basing your decisions on. In addition, you have pressure from the owners, investors and board. You report into them and are expected to deliver their subjective demands while navigating the daily realities of the business. You are dealing with complex dynamics which pull you away from the people that matter the most. Your customers.

When the stakes are high, it's time to take a good look at yourself and develop a level of awareness that transgresses your ego and authority.

The further up you are, the further away you are from these people who matter the most. Customers become figures on a spreadsheet, periodically reviewed and expected to grow. Your own figures are dependent on those figures, as are your family benefits and bonus. When the stakes are high, it's time to take a good look at yourself and develop a level of awareness that transgresses your ego and authority.

Your job from the top is to apply a perspective that no-one else can. You know everything about every function, despite information subject to translation. There is no-one else who can co-ordinate action for collective and combine these efforts for the greatest mutual gain. Your role is not to be judge and jury but to expand thinking, broaden solutions and challenge for breadth of impact. This role should play to your skills. A strategic, big picture thinker. Your personal bad habits, however, are going get in your way and ultimately be the cause of your business bust.

To outperform a market, you need to be better than average, and run your organisation better than your competitors. 

In the long run, only the strongest businesses will survive and thrive. To outperform a market, you need to be better than average, and run your organisation better than your competitors. Your staff need to be above average too, applying their efforts to solving challenges, creating new ideas and applying new customer strategies. They cannot do this while thinking and behaving negatively. Stress causes the creative areas inside the brain to close down. When you lead your business using attempts to create internal competition, conflict and control, you are devaluing your business by disabling your teams' capacity to do an adequate job. The only way your staff will perform better than adequate is for you to abolish politics, drama and manipulation. Culture spreads from the top down and this starts with you. 

The key to spotting manipulation is to evaluate whether someone is dismissing their own or another person's ability or skill within the story. 

All office politics is a process of action and reactions that are fuelled by giving it attention. You can identify these behaviours in yourself and others by knowing what you are looking for and cutting off the attention supply. Any behaviour that is not objective and rational is probably the cause or result of politics and should be stopped. Berne's model uses theatre as a simple metaphor. The plays are the subjective and personal stories that get performed on stage and the main actors, crew and audience participate with their individual roles. The key to spotting manipulation is to evaluate whether someone is dismissing their own or another person's ability or skill within the story. In business, persecutors usually have the authority or power to be demanding, dominant or controlling. They judge and take sides, often bullying and micromanaging. Rescuers are the sycophants, they play the role of taking one for the team, often the buffer between the top management and junior teams. They take over using guilt and fear, they martyr themselves and expect the same from their teams. Finally, the victims, often using passive aggression and silence to show disapproval, they blame and complain others and the system for their disgruntled reactions, spreading resentment and misery.

This drama is an all or nothing game. You cannot use fear as a motivator from the top down and complain that you are fed up with office politics.

This drama is an all or nothing game. You cannot use fear as a motivator from the top down and complain that you are fed up with office politics.

So, the buck stops with you. The nature of your relationships with your colleagues, how you coordinate and intervene, manage the drama that comes down from above you, will determine the level of politics that could be destroying your business from the inside out. Invest in you resolving your own drama and reactivity using any means, from coaching, counselling and training, in order to stop feeding the negativity. When you onboard your self-awareness and management is when you take true control over the success of your business.

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